Scindia seeks priority for power plants in gas allocation

New Delhi, April 10 (IANS) The union power ministry is seeking priority status to power projects for gas allocation, on par with fertiliser units, Power Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said Wednesday.

“I am seeking a date with Defence Minister A.K. Antony for discussing the change in priority of gas allocation,” he told media persons here.

Antony is the chairman of the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on gas pricing and commercial utilisation of gas.

At present, gas-based fertiliser plants get first priority in allocation of natural gas. These are followed by LPG-extraction units, while gas-based power plants come third in the priority list.

Scindia’s move for an urgent convening of the ministerial group to rework allocation priorities follows the stoppage of gas supplies to power plants by Reliance Industries (RIL) after output from its KG-D6 block hit an all-time low in March.

The KG-D6 output last month fell to 16.46 million standard cubic metres a day (mmscmd). The RIL consortium-operated fields in Andhra Pradesh hit a peak production of 69.43 mmscmd in March 2010 before water and sand ingress forced closure of more than one-third of the wells.

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